Compensatory Strategies (page 2)

By — Pearson Allyn Bacon Prentice Hall
Updated on Jul 20, 2010

Using Context Clues

Students can bridge the gap between word recognition and comprehension of text by developing strategies that allow discerning word meaning from context clues. The SCANR acronym developed by Jenkins, Matlock, and Slocum (1989) instructs students to substitute a word(s) for the problem word, check the surrounding context to confirm the reasonableness of the substitution(s), ask or self-monitor to see if the new word actually fits, readjust if a new word(s) is needed, and revise if necessary. This type of technique encourages flexibility on the part of the reader and self-monitoring and checking of ideas. Because individuals with dyslexia tend to over rely on context clues or cues when decoding, teachers need to ensure students are balancing their repertoire of word identification strategies with phonics, structural analysis, and the overstudy of sight words.

Think-Alouds- A Diagnostic/Teaching Tool

A general rule would be to present any technique first through modeling. Davey (1983) believes that modeling behaviors allows teachers to demonstrate how comprehension problems can be overcome. Davey (1983) recommends using think-alouds, predictions and hypothesis testing, visual imagery (let's picture...), analogies (like a...), and verbalizing problem areas and how to correct (fix by...). Think-alouds begin at the level of the emerging reader and continue through all stages of reading. Strategic interventions can be accomplished individually and in a group format. Troutman and Lichtenberg (1987, 1995) also carefully note that the teacher should observe each group as the students work through problems encountered and, especially, key in on students with learning problems.

Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers allow the reader to organize and summarize information from think-alouds and text readings. Struggling readers have limited awareness of what external organizational devices will improve their memory and comprehension. The National Reading Panel Report (2000) found the main effect or benefit to the use of graphic organizers was on the reader's memory of content read.

Graphic organizers are diagrams or outlines that depict the main structure of the material to be read. Key terms and concepts are used to create an outline that depicts the order and organization of the textual material. Graphic organizers assist students in making those cause-and-effect relationships relevant to reading comprehension. Through the visual format, they are able to see the relationship between ideas and concepts. Traditional outlining procedures might not be sufficient for the student with dyslexia because their organizational/study skills are frequently lacking. Varnhagen and Goldman (1986) conclude from their research that individuals who experience comprehension problems also benefit from instructional techniques that focus on the causal connections/events/relationships in stories. The use of story grammar via story maps (Reutzel, 1985) and other such techniques seems to help students with comprehension difficulties (Tierney & Cunningham, 1984).

Anticipation Guides: Text Previews and Reviews  A type of previewing method is to look at certain parts of the book in order to generate anticipation on the part of the reader. The use of an anticipation guide can introduce students to text concepts by having them respond to statements prior to reading. Following the reading, students review their earlier responses to revise or support prior views. Valeri-Gold (1987) suggests assisting students in estimating how long it will take to read a book and then break the time required for the reading into manageable chunks. Students can read the book title, subheadings, pre-and post-chapter questions, chapter introductions and conclusions, graphs, charts, and pictures in order to make guesses or predictions about story content that can be confirmed or disconfirmed after the reading.

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